IN THIS ISSUE …
IN FOCUS MEDIA VIEW TOP PERFORMERS
MARKET WATCH SMART PORTFOLIO COMING UP
This issue of Art Insight focuses
primarily on the major exhibition of paintings by Sydney based artist,
Laura Matthews. You will discover the expansive nature of this
remarkable artist's vision for her adopted country. Matthews is
one of Australia's real talents in contemporary painting. Her
exhibition titled Breathe will be opened by the great Australian landscape artist, Jeff Makin at Barrack Gallery on Thursday 18th May.
If you have not already heard, Australia has a new auction record with John Brack's The Bar
achieving $3.1 million at Sotheby's April 11 sale. This result,
coupled with Fred Williams $1.98 million at Christie's the night
before, is a clear indication that the Australian art market is
prepared to seek new highs for top end works.
In this issue, we explore the impact of the bullish opening to 2006 on the Australian investing landscape.
This month also sees exciting new talents
profiled- artists who have achieved considerable critical acclaim
already in their career and are continuing to build on their
reputations as "artists to watch".
It certainly has been an exciting opening quarter to the year.
As a subscriber to Art Insight, you will be in the box seat to receive
all the news, innovations and offers that Art Equity will be delivering
over coming months.
Laura Matthews, Violet Strata, Oil on linen,
Signed lower right
If you want to
find Laura Matthews in the labyrinthine spaces of the inner Sydney
studio where she works, it is often the aural before the visual that
will lead you to her. Sound accompanies every slap and swoop of her
brush: early on in her career it was Mahler's 9th "over and over
again", these days it could be anything from Bach to the Eurythmics to
the rounded vowels of the BBC world service when homesickness strikes.
For Matthews, painting in silence is as
unimaginable as painting sitting down and 'Breathe', her new body of
work exudes this same visceral physicality and energy. Gaze long enough
at her seascapes, at turbulent skies and moody seas and you can hear
too the sound of sand, spray and dune grasses whipped up by wind.
Laura Matthews, Pressure, Oil on linen,
137x153cm, Signed lower right
born and trained at London University's prestigious Slade School of
Fine Art, Matthews' vision of the world is a palpably English one. Her
artistic influences - later to become colleagues when she joined the
Slade's teaching staff - have also been some of Britain's greatest
modern figurative painters, William Coldstream, Lucien Freud and the
late Euan Uglow who was not only a tutor but was to become a great
Breathe', her third Australian exhibition, however represents a new
freedom, an emblematic step away from a past in which great artistic
legacy and tradition can become a burden and threaten to oppress. The
new paintings speak of her new Australian vista, of distance, vast
spaces and symbolic fresh air. Matthews' love of the sea, coastal
landscapes and marine light is conspicuous but so too is her anxiously
European fascination with the open ocean and big, ever changing
Australian skies. Water, she says, would be a constant companion but at
a distance: "It terrifies me. I love looking at it but I don¹t want to
be in it".
'Breathe' canvases were not painted one by one but simultaneously in a
whirlwind of urgent, gestural strokes. The result is a panorama of
movement, shifting light and blurred skies and horizons. All speak as
powerfully alone as they do in unison.
Acting Editor, The Weekend Sydney Morning Herald
Breathe - Opens at Barrack Gallery on 18 May 2006. Exhibition current until 2 June.
John Brack The Bar
Sold at Sothebys April 11 Auction in Melbourne for $3.12 million
Photo source: AAP, The Sydney Morning Herald
Fred Williams Upwey Landscape (1965)
Sold at Christie's April 10 Auction in Melbourne for $1,987,000
Photo source: The Sydney Morning Herald
Tim Storrier, Boys Own (working title), Collagraph,
60x81cm, Edition size: 70
Art's new million-dollar babies
"The managing director of
Sotheby’s Australia, Mark Fraser, said people were in for a few
surprises in the next few years on what the Australian market could
achieve. Ït’s not fully priced…one could argue the whole market is
undervalued,” he said.
"Big sales will bring more rare
works out of the woodwork. “Once new benchmarks are set, new, exciting
and important work emerges on the market,” Mr Fraser said. “We are very
optimistic that there’ll be more where that came from.” (Excerpt)
Click here for full article
The Sydney Morning Herald
14 April 2006
Record price for painting, bar none
"John Brack's The Bar went under the hammer at
Sotheby's in Melbourne. The previous record for an Australian work of
art at auction was $2.3 million for Frederick McCubbin's Bush Idyll."
"Sotheby's spokeswoman, Kate
Dezarnaulds, said the strong bidding had exceeded expectations. "We
knew it would do over $2 million - but it has changed. This has set a
new benchmark." (Excerpt)
Click here for full article
The Sydney Morning Herald
12 April 2006
I know what I like
"Art can be a profitable investment. Just look at the recent
auction sales of multi-million dollar works by John Brack and Fred
Williams. There's no law stating your self-managed fund can't
participate in the market, so long as you play by the rules." (Excerpt)
Click here for full article
Annette Sampson, The Sydney Morning Herald
19 April 2006
Is it just art, or is it investment?
"For all their investment potential, pieces of art have one, key flaw:
the only dividend that is earned is through the enjoyment and
appreciation of having a piece of art on your wall or in your
Click here for full article
Joe Bolger, The [UK] Times
17 April 2006
*Art Equity is the only Art investment business that addresses this "flaw".
Art Equity Rentals offers Australia's only "income deriving" art
investment product. Our art rental portfolio's enable investors
to earn up to 9% (fixed) return over a period of 2 to 3 years - a smart
solution for serious investors looking to diversify their investment
Pro Hart, Miners camp by the pond, Oil on canvas
Katy Woodroffe, Pearls of Wisdom 2, 2006, (cropped) Mixed media on paper, 125x100cm
These Australian artists are currently amongst the markets most sought
after. Art Equity has sold works by all the artists listed and
for some, is a representative gallery in NSW.
The auction record for a Fred Williams painting was more than tripled at Christie's April 10 sale. Upwey Landscape, painted in 1965 sold for $1,987,000 just short of the (then) highest Australian auction price of $2.3 million. Upwey Landscape
was estimated to fetch $500,000 - $800,000 Williams previous
record of $587,500 was set in 2002 for a painting of the You Yangs.
- Tim Storrier
Tim Storrier has just launched a major exhibition of new "flaming"
works with Melbourne Gallery Metro5. The demand continues
unabated for works by this artist with 8 major paintings selling within
days of the opening, including an acrylic on canvas (137x289cm) for
Art Equity secured a significant holding of Storrier's recently released Evening Blazeline;
a 7 plate, 50 colour collagraph created with Master Printmaker, Paul
Smith. The prints were sold within 2 hours - such is the demand
and solid investment potential of works by this artist. According
to Artprice.com, 100 USD invested in 1997 in a work of Tim Storrier had
an average value of 402 USD in February 2006.
- Pro Hart
Pro Hart's work is being reassessed since his death; consequently The Builders brought a hefty $48,995 and The Ants $26,290 at Christies April 10 auction. Christie's estimated The Builders would sell for between $9000 and $12,000 and The Ants
would fetch $6,000 to $8,000. Although derided by many
Australian critics, Hart's artworks are prized items both in private
collections, including those of the late US president Lyndon Baines
Johnson and Prince Philip, and others, including the Australian War
Memorial, NSW and Adelaide universities, and the Bonython Collection.
Our recent exhibition at Barrack Gallery titled Some place: Site Specific
attracted immense interest and strong sales. Photographers, Anke
Stäcker and Mark Munro joined forces to present our first major
photographic show. Munro's powerful images generating a mood of
isolation and abandonment, were incredibly popular and certainly not
unexpected for an artist of his experience and calibre.
- Katy Woodroffe
Katy was recently selected as a finalist in the City of Hobart Art
Prize. She was one of 28 artists selected from 124
submissions. Katy was the 2006 winner of the Woman Tasmania's
International Women's Day Art Competition in Hobart. In the last
5 years, she has won no less than 6 art prizes and selected as a
finalist in several additional prizes. She will be holding a solo
exhibition at Barrack Gallery later this year.
Tony Arno, Tasmania Series I, Oil on board, 76x115cm
Mark Munro, Dallas Brookes, C-Type Photograph,
David Larwill, Dog,
3 Plate sugarlift aquatint etching,
78cm x 59cm (*Available)
Jason Benjamin, I have to take care of you now,
NEW ARTISTS @ ART EQUITY
- Andrew McIlroy
painter Andrew McIlroy produces sophisticated canvasses which straddle
traditional and modernist methodologies. Referencing Australian
Colonialism and the forefathers of the landscape tradition, McIlroy’s
concern with atmosphere, golden light and voluminous skies also pays
homage to the great Joseph Mallord William Turner and forms a bridge
with contemporary figuration.
As McIlroy explains
, “I hope to make people pause for just a moment. My inspiration is
simple; to create something tangible, long lasting and familiar. My
struggle is to capture 'Australianess' without reacting against
European influences or composition.”
serene seascapes have been tremendously well received by Art Equity
clients, with two thirds of the canvases selling within hours of
hitting the gallery walls. McIlroy is one to watch!
came to prominence during the 1980's as a leading advertising
illustrator and graphic designer. He is most famous for designing the
classic and iconic Qantas "Flying kangaroo".
seachange has seen Tony leave the city high life to pursue full time
painting. His series of inspirational works centre around the
Australian landscape- from the desert sands to the Tasmanian rivers.
Central to all his painting too, is an iconic image of a "spirit
figure", which appears stylised and an integral part of all his
works. Semi self portrait, this joyous figure and all his calm
and beautiful works represent Tony's new found freedoms as a fine
Art Equity will launch a select group of Tony Arno's paintings at Barrack Gallery on the 9th of May.
2006 will be long remembered by the art world as an exhilarating month
in the auction room. Within 24 hours, two multi-million dollar
sales were celebrated, the highest price ever paid for an Australian
artwork was witnessed and a mixed vendor sale record was achieved. The
Australian art market is clearly buoyant!
Sotheby's April 11 sale in Melbourne achieved the new Australian auction record of $3.1 million for John Brack's The Bar. The previous record, held for almost 8 years was $2.3 million for Frederick McCubbin's Bush Idyll. At Christie's final soiree just 24 hours earlier, Upwey Landscape by Fred Williams came
remarkably close to the previous high with a sale price of $1.9 million
- against an estimate of around $500,000.
Two other paintings to achieve exceptional prices at Sotheby's were Charles Conder's Hot Wind, selling for $936,000 (est. $350,000-500,000) and Brett Whiteley's Dove and Dusk which brought $780,000 against an estimate of $500,000-600,000. Roy de Maistre's New Atlantis, a 1930s work with links to British artist Francis Bacon, also set a new record with a stunning $630,000.
Following the Sotheby's September 2005 sale, Geoff Maslin
titled an article "Art Market off the Boil" (The Age, September 23,
2005). Coincidently he comments that, "Despite the relatively high sums
fetched for the best works, 15 failed to sell and they included
high-priced pictures by John Brack, Fred Williams and Brett Whiteley.
This suggests that collectors are far more sophisticated and rather
more cautious in their bidding." How the market changes!
Managing director of Sotheby's, Mark Fraser describes the art market
in an April 15 article as "experiencing "consistent growth" over the
past decade." He argues that "The art market has shrugged off the
Asian crisis and the 2001 crisis. We are increasingly seeing more
people looking at art as an alternative tangible asset with very good
historical returns and capital growth. Art can form part of a balanced
investment portfolio." ("Lusting for painting by numbers" The
Age, 15th April 2006)
The demographic of art collectors in Australia has broadened
enormously in recent years. The market has grown as buyers have
become more sophisticated and culturally aware. They have greater
access to information and historical trends and are encouraged by the
financial world wanting a slice of the action. Sotheby's alone
has seen a 140% increase in turnover between 1996 and 2005 and 55%
increase since 2001.
As at 1st May, 2006, the current year auction results totaled almost
$32 million - more than one third of last year's annual sum.
Strong auction performances so far this year indicate a new record for
art sales for 2006 is highly likely.
International Art Market
The recent bullish action in Australia is following a global trend for surging art market performances.
According to Artprice.com, New York has experienced an explosion of prices.
Art prices continued to climb in the first quarter of 2006. In the
middle of the spring/summer auction season and a few days ahead of the
prestigious "Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale" in New York,
the Artprice Global Index shows that prices rose a further 16% over
just four months! Since the beginning of the year, 117 lots have
already exceeded the million dollar mark, compared with only 66 over
the same period in 2005."
"In New York, where prices
have risen 20% in the first four months of the year, we could even use
the word 'speculation'. They are now 42% higher than at the height of
the speculative bubble in 1990. Already this year, a major painting by
William Turner has fetched USD 32 million at auction. However, in
London, prices have stabilised since the beginning of the year. Already
in 2005, the rise in transaction prices in the UK was only +4.7%
compared with +27% in 2004.
And in France, the upward trend seen at
the end of 2005 was confirmed at the beginning of this season. The
Artprice Global Index for Paris transactions rose 7.4% in the first
quarter of 2006, thus approaching the level reached at the end of
The May Premium Portfolio
includes original prints by four of Australia's most eagerly collected
artists. Tim Storrier, Jeff Makin, David Larwill and Jason
Benjamin are regarded among the most technically skilled and highly
bankable artists. All
current and past indicators suggest the mid to long term capital
appreciation potential for artworks by each of these artists is
The portfolio offers a return of 8% over a period of two years.
ART EQUITY RENTAL PORTFOLIOS
enable you to earn income from the art you own. You purchase an
art portfolio starting from around $10,000 which we then rent to the
corporate sector. You will earn income of between 6.5% to 9 per
cent per annum from your investment as well as the potential capital
appreciation of the artwork over time.
Laura Matthews, Lassitude, Oil on linen,
137x92cm, Signed lower right
David Bromley, Children with kitten, Acrylic & leaf on linen,
Anke Stäcker, Siniscola, C-Type on gatorboard, 75x50cm
Brad Munro Morning Memo,
Oil on Linen,
91 x 122cm
Pasquale Giardino, Little Train
Oil on canvas,
61cm x 91.5cm
Andrew McIlroy in front of his Seascape - A quiet place IV 2006,
(sold) recently released by Art Equity.)
*Available from Art Equity at the time of publishing
Art Insight May 2006
BARRACK GALLERY at Art Equity
- Barrack Gallery Works on paper - until 10 May, 2006.
- Andy McIlroy, New Works launch 2nd May, 2006
- Tony Arno, New Works launch 9th May, 2006
- Laura Matthews Breathe - 18 May until 1 June, 2006.
- If you would like to join our invitation mailing list for Exhibitions at Barrack Gallery, please click here and leave your name, address and email address.
- Art Equity Education Seminars - If you are interested in attending a seminar at Barrack Gallery, click here.
- Interested in reading previous issues of Art Insight?
- Art Gallery of NSW
The Art Gallery of NSW will be exhibiting winners and nominated entries for the Archibald, Wynne & Sulman Prizes, as well as the Photographic Portrait Prize - until 28 May
SELF PORTRAIT: Renaissance to Contemporary
- Rubens, Velázquez, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Bacon, Kahlo, Warhol - On tour
from the National Portrait Gallery, London - until 14 May
MODERN TO NOW 1 - until 21 May
THEO SCHARF - until 14 May
CONSTANZE ZIKO - until 21 May
Symbols & Ceremonies - until 28 May
KEVIN CONNOR -until 25 June
Old Europe - 3 June until 6 August
Zen Mind, Zen Brush - 16 June until 13 August
- Museum of Contemporary Art
Mike Parr Prints & Pre-Prints 1970 - 2005 -
until 21 May
SAM TAYLOR-WOOD -
photographic and video works from the late 1990s to the present with a strong portraiture focus -
until 21 May
Representation and the self in contemporary art - until 21 May
FREE GALLERY TALK - MCA Senior Curator Rachel Kent
leads a tour of the exhibition Masquerade: Representation and the self
in contemporary art - Sunday 14 may at 2.30pm
- Australian Centre for Photography
Dont be something strong - photos by Paul Knight - 28 April to 3 June
- Museum of Sydney
State of play: 100 years of tourism in New South Wales -
until 30 June
- National Gallery of Australia
The prints of OTTO DIX - until 30 April
Crescent Moon: Islamic Art and Civilisation in south East Asia - until 28 May
CONSTABLE: Impressions of Land, Sea and Sky - Around 100 works by John Constable - until 12 June
AUSTRALIA and CONSTABLE: featuring Australian and NZ artists who have been inspired by Constable's art - until 12 June
Come Rain or shine
- National Portrait Gallery - Old Parliament House
Portraits for posterity - until 9 July
- National Portrait Gallery - Commonwealth Place
Rennie Ellis: Aussies All - until 27 August
- Canberra Museum and Gallery
- National Archives of Australia
Summers Past: Golden Days in the Sun 1950-70
- until 25 June
- The McClelland Contemporary Sculpture Survey and Award 2005
which feature's Australia's richest acquisitive sculpture award is on
at McClelland Gallery+Sculpture Park, Langwarrin, Victoria until 25
- National Gallery of Victoria – International
Pissaro: The First Impressionist - until 28 May
Remote Control - Contemporary photomedia - until 7 May
WILLIAM KENTRIDGE: 7 Fragments for George Melies - until 21 May
Mountains and Streams: Chinese Paintings from the Asian Collection (free entry)
Rembrandt 1606- 1669: from the Prints and Drawings collection (Free entry) - until 24 September
Picasso: Love and War 1935- 1945 - 30 June until 8 October
- National Gallery of Victoria – Ian Potter Centre
Martin Grant - Paris - until 7 May 06
Land Marks - until 11 June
2006 Contemporary Commonwealth - until 25 June
Top Arts: VCE 2005 (free entry) - until16 July
Deborah Halpern: Angel - 10 May to 23 July (free entry)
- Geelong Gallery
RAY HEARN - ceramics - until 9 April
Place Made - Australian Print Workshop. A National Gallery of Australia traveling exhibition - 7 April - 4 June
PAT AND MARK SHANNON - until 7 May
The cutting edge: cut & engraved glass - until 2 July
Vigex - Photography salon - 13 May until 12 June
- Queensland Art Gallery
Xstrata Coal Emerging Indigenous Art Award - until 21 May
Education Minister's Award for Excellence in Art - until 28 May
PABLO PICASSO: La Belle Holandaise Celebrates its Centenary - ongoing display
- QLD Centre for Photography
The viewer and the viewed - David Van Royen, Victoria Lawson , Doug Spowart and Victoria Cooper - until 21 May
Annie Hogan, Karen Milder and Terry Young - 27 May until June 18
Museum of Brisbane
"Grant Stevens - Cut to the Cheese - until 28 May
Sharing Life: Brisbane Stories of Organ Donation - until 6 June
Double Take: Ten contemporary Brisbane artists respond to works from the City of Brisbane Collection - until 9 July
Taking to the Streets - Two decades that changed Brisbane 1965- 1985 - until 10 September
Gold Coast Arts Centre
2006 Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Photography Award - to 20 May
Pro Hart - Retrospective - until 4 June
- Art Gallery of South Australia
Margaret Preston: Art & Life - 26 May until 13 August
2006 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: 21st Century Modern - until 7 May
- Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia
Where Angels Tread - Shaun Gladwell, Nicole Loder, Julie Rrap, Tony Schwensen, Darren Siwes & Judith Wright - until 4 June
- Royal South Australian Society of Arts
Retrospective and Recent Works - Andrew Steiner & Stephanie Schrapel - 7 to 28 May
- Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Exit Art:: Contemporary youth art of NT Year 12 students - until 7 May
The sound of the sky: the Northern Territory in Australian Art - until 16 July
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